Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Natalie Cole memorial service: Stevie Wonder, David Foster, Lionel Richie honor the singer

Stars gather to remember the Grammy award-winning singer.

Posted on

Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Natalie Cole’s friends, family, and collaborators paid tribute to the late soul star on Monday during a memorial service held at Los Angeles’ Church of God in Christ. Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Lionel Richie, Smokey Robinson, Angela Bassett, Gladys Knight, and Reverend Jessie Jackson were among the attendees.

The Grammy-award winning singer was honored by almost 5,000 people and many of the musicians in attendance performed: Wonder and Kurt Carr sang with a choir, Cole’s music director Gail Deadrick led a band, and her son Robbie played drums.

“I feel so blessed to have called you my friend, and my buddy, and many times my confidante,” Robinson said during the service, per CBS Los Angeles. “You are so real and down to Earth. Now I have to say you’re so real and up to heaven.”

See footage of the service and Wonder playing the harmonica via Reuters below.

Cole died Dec. 31 at 65. Her family announced the news, and in early January revealed she died of idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension, which led to heart failure.